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Football: Grassroots jamboree |27 February 2023

Football: Grassroots jamboree

Providing the perfect platform to boost interest and nurture young talents

As part of its youth development programme, precisely to identify and nurture young talents, the Seychelles Football Federation hosted its first football grassroots jamboree, gathering over 150 young players from different schools and academies around the islands.

Grassroots football lays the foundation of the sport, and its primary aim is to increase the participation of children.

The non-competitive event which took place on Saturday at Stad Linite was the opportunity for the young players to have fun, in a sustainable and peaceful atmosphere, displaying their talents.

According to the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) technical director – directeur technique national (DTN) – Osama Haroun, who is in charge of youth development, the jamboree is a good platform for the young players who need to play, more than anything else, if they want to improve and get the real feel of football.

He said, since the event was not competitive, with no rankings, it gave the players more confidence to express their skills freely, without the fear of losing matches.

Coach Haroun also explained that playing matches continuously is crucial in the development of players, especially the young ones between seven and 11 years old. The SFF will bring the event to Praslin and La Digue in the coming weeks, before repeating it on the three main islands on a regular basis, setting up the proper structure to ease the process.

He said a tournament will be organised once or twice yearly where the kids can show and assess their progress, but right now they are at the stage where they need a lot of playing times, and such platform is the ideal opportunity for that.

In terms of turnout, coach Haroun said it was huge, and due to lack of manpower, some teams were left out of the jamboree.

Coach Haroun further explained that for a perfect and well-executed jamboree platform, 130 players is the ideal total, while they received over 150 entries.

He is urging clubs and academies to respect the number of players allowed to prevent the kids from not playing due to high number of entries, taking into accounts manpower and time constraints.

Speaking to Sports NATION, founder and coach of the All Star Youth Academy, Che Dorasamy, said the SFF, along with the academies and schools alone are not enough to steer Seychelles’ football further, especially when it comes to grassroots.

He explained that since grassroots is targeting children, anyone, or group who have the capacity to help should do so, not necessarily in monetary forms, but in assisting with basic needs such as water, juice and snacks during jamborees.

Dorasamy noted that since the children are playing from early morning in the sun, their young bodies will dehydrate quickly, therefore they need constant rehydrating, and this is a crucial area where sponsors can come in to help, among many other forms.

He further added that while clubs and academies, along with the SFF, are doing their part in helping the children, the whole country should join the cause since it is not only sports-related, but also a way to divert the attention of the youths away from social ills, thus beneficial in creating a healthy nation and future workforce.


Text and photos: Roland Duval       



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